UK output of broilers has continued to rise this year, despite the downturn in chick numbers that set in at the start.
Output of chicken meat rose by 2,000 tonnes in May and by 32,000 tonnes in total since the beginning of this year.
This marks an increase of 4.4% during the first five months compared with a year earlier.
This expansion has taken place against a background of falling chick placings, which have continued to drop for a fifth successive month.
Placings of day-old chicks during May fell by 2% compared with a year earlier, while the average cut-back over the five months also averaged a two per cent drop.
Overall this equates to 11 million fewer birds than in the same period of 2021.
Making up for the shortfall in birds has been a switch to much heavier finishing weights across the industry.
During the first quarter of the year, average liveweights were up by more than 10% each month compared with the previous year.
From January to May overall, the average liveweight went up from 2.19kg in 2021 to 2.36kg this year, an increase of 8%.
In terms of placings, 2022 is still on course to be the second highest year on record for the broiler industry.
Chick numbers are still up by 1.5% on the first five months of 2020, a period which primarily occurred before any impact of the pandemic on the sector.
Turkey numbers continue to drift lower, and year-on-year were down by 50,000 day-old poults in May. That brings the total placings for Jan-May to 4.95m, down 7.5% on 2021.